Lime Light at Lime Rock
Performance Tech Motorsports stole the show at Lime Rock Park.
The IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda series had a single race over the weekend at Lime Rock Park, and Performance Tech did not disappoint. Performance Tech had more MPC class drivers on the podium than any of the previous rounds. Kyle Masson continued his conquest as did Dr. Robert Masson with a second-place finish. Howard Jacobs took home his first podium in a dramatic finish.
Masson’s brilliant weekend was just shy of being legendary. In qualifying, Masson held pole overall until a last-minute flyer by Colin Thompson put an LMP3 back on top. It would have been the first time an MPC had been fastest overall. During the race, Masson challenged the lap times of the two fastest LMP3 cars and finished with a 29 second lead over the MPC field. Masson was fighting for an overall win with the LMP3 leaders until lap traffic held him up, nearly causing an incident. Masson’s quick reactions kept the car clean, and he brought home another win.
Dr. Masson proved he was no longer just one of the fastest Masters but an altogether contender in the MPC class. In Practice One Dr. Masson was the second quickest MPC and in Practice Two he was fourth, respectively. Dr. Masson was the quickest Master in qualifying after qualifying fourth in the MPC class. His qualifying time was cut short after running out of fuel. Dr. Masson took home a second-place finish in the Masters Championship finishing fifth in MPC and eighth overall.
Over the weekend, Jacobs proved patience is a virtue that pays off. Jacobs focus’ on himself when he’s on track- he runs his own race. He concentrates on perfect laps as fast as he can will the car. His speed was there, but it still left him at the back of the MPC field after qualifying. No matter, Jacobs let the race come to him. He steadily worked his way to the front simply by running a clean race. He steered clear of other’s spins and kept himself on track. His consistency paid off when teammate Stephen Dawes had a last-minute spin while running third in Masters. Jacobs passed Dawes on the final lap to take home his first podium finish.
As Jacobs rounded his last lap, there was a mixture of emotions in pit lane. The team watched helplessly as Dawes was immobile after spinning in Turn 1 but cheered Jacobs on to his finish. Dawes was poised for his first podium finish of the season. Until that point, Dawes had built a great race. He maneuvered his way around LMP3 cars and steadily climbed through the field. He showed how much his racecraft had developed. Dawes finished fourth in Masters and seventh in MPC.
Team Principal Brent O’Neill thought his team showed strength over the weekend. As a team focused on developing drivers, he felt this race showed that best.
“It was a good weekend; all the drivers did a great job,” O’Neill said. “Even Stephen, once we got him going he ran some quick and consistent lap times. Howard, again, just gets better every race we go to. He got on the podium, so that was a big deal for us, to see him there. Kyle would have finished overall had he not been held up, but that’s part of Lime Rock. You have to deal with the traffic. Dr. Masson almost had a win here, so I think we’re going to push at the next race. He’s there; he’s ready for it.”
IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda’s next competition is set for August 11 through August 13 in Trois Rivières, Quebec Canada for the Trois Rivières Grand Prix. For a detailed schedule visit prototypechallenge.imsa.com/schedule.